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What is Scandinavian Design?

You might have heard a lot about the Scandinavian Design. The people who are style conscious are quite aware of what it suggests. Scandinavian Design is a movement that took its roots in the four Scandinavian countries. They are: Norway, Sweden and Denmark and Finland. This movement is special for its focus on simplicity, low cost, modesty and functionality. This design has become popular because, due to its low cost, most of the people can afford it. It is meant for the mass production.

This movement emerged during the 1950s. It got proper recognition with the introduction of the Lunning prize. This is awarded to those who used to excel in the field of Scandinavian Design. It was awarded to a number of outstanding designers for their achievement between 1951 and 1970. With this award, this design has become a recognized one for the production of commodity, not only in Scandinavian areas, but also throughout the world.

The idea of this design is wonderful. It is a commonplace belief that functional and beautiful interior and furnishings are costly and the middle-class cannot afford this. It was, to some extent true, before the Scandinavian Design became into being. Most of the other designs focused upon the luxury and comfort and they used to be costlier and out of the reach of the commoners.

But with the advent of modernism, the attitude was changed. More importance was given upon the functionality, comfort and simplicity rather than magnificent design and luxury. Though the simplicity and functionality was focused in the modern style, the cost was also out of the reach of the common people. Then the Scandinavian Design came into being after the Second World War. The whole picture was changed. Now the commoners can afford comfort, simplicity and functionality because of the Scandinavian Design.

If we look at the ideological background of this design, we will have to look back at the history of the emergence of social democracy in Scandinavian areas in the 1950s. The political theme was taken in making furniture and crafts. So, the history of the Scandinavian Design is linked to the history of social democracy. Again, at that time, the low-cost materials were available in abundance in that part of the world. They are: form-pressed wood; enameled or anodized aluminum; pressed steel; plastics etc. Moreover, the production cost also went down. So, it was possible for the founders of Scandinavian Design to apply their formula for mass production.

The Scandinavian Design can be divided into two types. One is the traditional and another is the modern. Both of them are modern. Still in terms of the traditional style, there is a little bit of fusion of modern functionality and traditional design. Though the design was basically meant for the furniture, it is not limited to only this side. This style is now used in the production of textiles and ornaments along with the furniture. Moreover, this style is also used in the interior decoration.

Though there are many critics who said that this form of design is a façade for making money. But the democratic ideal of this design is so prominent that these critics have lost their ground in terms of criticizing this design from anti-capitalist and Marxist point of view.

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